The Think Before You Flush campaign visited the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth to talk about our toilets, beaches, and sewage-related litter

On Saturday the 20th of April, Clean Coasts and Uisce Éireann participated in Earth Baby Fair encouraging people of all ages to cultivate responsible flushing behaviors and to pledge their commitment to the “Think Before You Flush” campaignThis initiative aims to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of flushing sanitary products and other damaging items down the toilet and to promote responsible waste management practices.

The “Think Before You Flush” campaign, operated by Clean Coasts in partnership with Uisce Éireann, emphasises the importance of appropriate flushing behaviour and disposal of items including wipes and other sanitary products in the bin, even if they are labelled as flushable. Only the 3 Ps, pee, poo and paper should be flushed down the toilet. When items such as wet wipes are flushed down the toilet, they can cause serious blockages in sewage systems, causing sewage overflows and ultimately polluting our coastal waters and beaches.

Organized by the volunteers of Cloth Nappy Library Ireland, Earth Baby Fair has established itself as a safe place for parents to share and discuss their sustainable and eco-friendly products and methods. With a growing community of environmentally conscious parents, the event provides a unique opportunity for vendors to showcase their eco-friendly products and for educators to come together and share their expertise on sustainable parenting. The Think Before You Flush team operated an information stand, inviting parents to engage in discussions about marine litter, wastewater treatment, and how as parents we can safeguard our wastewater network and coastal habitats.

The team also discussed the Think Before You Pour campaign that looks at the issue of pouring fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) from cooking down the kitchen sink. Instead of flowing freely, FOG’s cool and harden as they travel along the wastewater network. When FOGs combine with sewage related litter such as wipes, hair and dental floss fatbergs can form. Uisce Éireann clears hundreds of blockages, including fatbergs, from the wastewater network every week. The Think Before Pour campaign urges everyone to avoid washing FOGs down the kitchen drain and, instead, dispose of them in the bin once cool.

Speaking about the event Clean Coasts Coastal Programme Officer Sinéad Keogh said, “we are thankful to Cloth Nappy Library Ireland for inviting us to be part of this fair. We are delighted to be in Maynooth and engage in conversations about the Think Before You Flush campaign with the parents of this community. Sewage-related litter poses a real burden on our wastewater network and marine environment. The wonderful news is that the solution is straightforward. Only flush the 3 Ps (pee, poo, and paper) down the toilet. Everything else belongs in the bin. Through collaboration, we can support better flushing behaviour and deliver a tangible positive impact on our natural environment.”